Description: Fruit small, oblate; skin yellow, shaded and striped with two shades of red over most of the surface; dots moderate in number, light and gray. Flesh white, stained red near the skin, crisp, juicy, subacid. Ripe October-December.
History: Originated before 1853 by Hezekiah Ellis of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and sold by a Virginia nursery in 1859.
Description: Fruit medium or below, roundish conical, often irregular; skin pale yellow, sometimes with bronzing or pale red and darker stripes on the sunny side; dots numerous, whitish and russet. Flesh pale yellow, fine-grained, soft, sweet. Ripe September/October.
History: Joe Harvey McClanahan of Springfield, Tennessee, brought this apple to the attention of Lee Calhoun in 1998. He says the tree originated with a man named George Mack, who bought land adjacent to the McClanahan farm many years ago. “He lost an arm from a train accident and was known as One-armed George Mack. He could beat most men digging a ditch. I think he was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. We’ll call the apple George Mack.”
Description: Medium size, roundish conical; skin smooth, pale yellow, heavily striped and splotched with red. Flesh “mild and sweet.” Ripe July.
History: Gilmore’s Nursery in Julian, North Carolina, is still in business although it stopped selling fruit trees decades ago. In the 1940s it was owned by Glenn G. Gilmore but still retained its original name of North State Nursery. Mr. Gilmore introduced several fruit varieties in the 1940s including Gilmore’s Sweeting.
Description: Fruit medium, roundish or slightly oblong, quite truncated at the ends making it look cylindrical, sometimes oblique; skin tough, smooth, often polished looking, yellow with red stripes or sometimes almost entirely red. Flesh yellowish, very firm, somewhat coarse, becoming crisp and tender in storage, moderately juicy, nearly sweet. Ripe September.
History: In the nineteenth century, Gilpin was used as a yardstick to measure the keeping qualities of other apples. Reading old apple literature, one sees again and again statements such as “as good a keeper as the Gilpin.” Gilpin was found by Coxe (1817) growing in Delaware, where it had been brought from Virginia.
Description: Fruit round; skin mostly covered with medium red; dots numerous, large and small, some areolar, whitish. Ripe September.
History: Taron Jones of Polkton, North Carolina, says his father grafted his trees in Buncombe County over fifty years ago. We do not know anything more except that this is a fine apple, well worth preserving.
Description: Fruit below medium, roundish, flattened on the ends; skin yellow occasionally with a faint blush and partly to mostly covered with a rough, brown russet in blotches and large irregular dots. Flesh yellow, crisp, juicy, mildly sweet. Ripe August/September.
History: This is probably the old English apple that originated in Herefordshire in the 1600s. It seems to match the description of that apple. Golden Harvey, when perfectly ripe, can be truly delicious. The only southern nursery listing for this apple was in 1836 by a nursery in Baltimore, Maryland.
Description: Fruit medium to nearly large, roundish to roundish oblate; skin thin, smooth, waxy, yellowish green becoming pale yellow when fully ripe; dots scattered, indented, green. Flesh yellowish white, firm, fine-grained, tender, juicy, aromatic, very sweet. Ripe late June/July.
History: This kind of apple is rarely seen today—the very sweet apple. If you have never eaten a very sweet apple, the first bite can be a shock. It is like eating sugar or honey—sweet with no hint of acid to cut the sweetness. Of the very sweet apples, Golden Sweet, which is of Connecticut origin, seems to have been sold more widely by southern nurseries than any other. The following is taken from an 1850 issue of The Horticulturalist magazine: “The Golden Sweeting might be profitable for advancing the condition of the farmer’s stock of swine before his crop of corn has matured, and at a season when his supplies of feed are limited. This apple and clover pasture promote swine growth as well as grain and at a much cheaper rate.”
Description: Fruit large to very large, roundish to slightly oblate. Skin yellowish with varying shades of red stripes from a pinkish hue to darker red. Lenticels present but mostly inconspicuous. Ripe August-September.
History: Discovered by Tom Brown of Clemmons, North Carolina.
Description: Fruit medium, roundish to oblate, conical, lobed; skin smooth, tough, waxy, with bright red on the sunny side overlaid with indistinct darker red stripes, some apple almost entirely red; dots conspicuous, large, tan. Flesh slightly greenish, juicy, subacid. Ripe September/October and a good keeper.
History: In 1899 Thomas Coffey of Kelsey, Watauga County, North Carolina, wrote to the USDA about Gragg: “Originated about 40 years ago on James Gragg’s farm in Caldwell County, North Carolina and is now grown by many farmers. Stands at the top of the market. It is a good cooker. The tree is thrifty, smooth, needs but little pruning, and a good bearer. The apples keep till spring.” Gragg was listed in 1902 by the Startown Nursery, Newton, North Carolina.
Description: Fruit medium or above, roundish to slightly oblate, sides often uneven; skin dull, pale greenish, mottled and striped with light red over about half the surface; dots russet and greenish, medium in size and number, often submerged. Flesh rather soft, juicy, almost sweet.
History: Tom Brown found three trees of this apple near Canton, North Carolina. One tree, well over eighty years old, belongs to Jasper Burnette.
Description: Fruit medium size, mostly red. Ripe September.
History: A 1989 letter from Eva Gibson of Roanoke, Virginia, tells all we know of this apple: “We bought our property 41 years ago and have an apple the neighbors call Granny Christian. It is great to fry and good to eat.”
Description: Fruit medium or below, roundish, oblique, but often misshapen with bulges, protrusions and bumps; skin very rough, tough, partly to completely covered in rough golden russet with the underlying red showing through; dots numerous, large, russet. Flesh light yellow, breaking, crisp, juicy, sweet. Ripe September/October.
History: The late Maurice Marshall found this old apple in Cana, Virginia. It originated in Cana circa 1930 and is named for a Mrs. McMillian. Unusual in both shape and color, Granny Mack is instantly recognizable.
Description: Fruit medium size, roundish conical; skin pale yellow splotched with red and some faint stripes. Flesh yellowish, subacid. Ripe August.
History: In her self-published book Apples: Collecting Old Southern Varieties, nurserywoman Joyce Neighbors of Gadsden, Alabama, writes: “A seedling apple variety found on my dad’s farm in Clay County about 1975…and was growing in a trash dump about 50-feet from a Hackworth (apple) tree…My dad named the tree after my mother.”
Description: Fruit medium or above, round; skin green becoming yellowish when ripe, sometimes with apple blush on the sunny side. Flesh whitish, juicy, aromatic, subacid. Ripe September and a good keeper.
History: Warder (1867) says this apple originated in Indiana, but it has been grown in the southern Appalachians for many years. In 1989 Mrs. George Wood of Meadows of Dan, Virginia, supplied the scions from her ancient Green Pippin tree.
Description: Fruit medium or above, roundish or slightly oblate, flattened on the ends; skin tough, smooth, pale green, partly to mostly covered with red with darker red stripes; dots rather numerous, often submerged, whitish. Flesh whitish, tender, juicy, mild subacid. Ripe August.
History: One of many old apples found by Herbert Childress around Dunnville, Kentucky. An outstanding eating apple for late August.
Description: Fruit medium or above, usually roundish or slightly oblong, often flattened on the ends, sides often unequal; skin yellow, tough, rather rough with russet patches; dots moderate in number, small or medium size, russet. Flesh yellow or slightly orange, firm, tender, crisp, juicy, aromatic, sprightly subacid. Ripe apples often have a faint anise or licorice flavor. Ripe September/October.
History: Out on West Virginia Route 27, two and a half miles east of Wellsburg, there is a granite monument in a small park beside the road. Carved upon the granite is the name “Grimes Golden.” The monument is appropriate; Grimes Golden is one of the greatest American apples in its own right. It is also one parent of Golden Delicious, which is grown all over the world.
The best information is that the pioneer settler, Edward Cranford, planted apple seeds for an orchard about 1790 on his farm in what is now Brooks County, West Virginia (but then part of Virginia). In 1802 Edward Cranford sold his farm to Thomas P. Grimes, who found one of the seedling trees producing fruit of a golden color, fine quality, and good keeping ability.
Description: Fruit medium size, roundish to slightly oblong, conical; skin rough, pale green with pale pinkish, obscure stripes and blotches; dots russet, small, submerged and large, protruding. Flesh cream-colored, juicy, not crisp, subacid. Ripe August.
History: Grown for many years in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee.
Description: Fruit medium or above, roundish to oblong, conical; skin almost covered with dull red with obscure darker stripes and much scarf skin. Flesh yellowish, juicy, moderately crisp, chewy, subacid. Ripe September.
History: James R. Hall of Logan, West Virginia, wrote to Lee Calhoun about this apple: “A local seedling found 200 yards from the Guyandotte River, which bears small to medium size, all-red, somewhat elongated apples. We call it the Guyandotte or Guyan Pippin. The tree ripens a very decent crop without spraying. The flesh is yellow-gold color with a tangy sweetness.